Is it the summer you wanted? Is this that summer? The one that you are going to all the events you swore you would? Does that matter?
I often find myself asking whether it was that summer as it ends. Now, I’m asking that question in the middle because it doesn’t have to be that way to a meaningful, fantastic summer. I planned myself many things to do this summer. And I’ve done some of them. And some of them I have not.
We often seem to make summer just as regimented and scheduled as our school days. Got to cram, as Case Western Reserve University kids do, so that it all happens. But then, as we truly are exhausted, we often flop down on the couch and feel guilty for not doing everything we said we would. As if we’ll get an exam at the end and haven’t prepared.
Summer is truly a transient time. It doesn’t exist as a thing in the capitalist working world. Three months off is not something that happens ever again. So perhaps we worry that we won’t truly savor that time if we don’t schedule, keep time, and ration it. But then we often end up feeling just as stressed and guilty as we do during the school year.
It is okay to flop down on the couch and not move for a week. Larger capitalist systems want us just to keep on working; even our leisure must be work, it dictates. So of course we feel guilty not doing that. But think of it another way: you’re defying capitalist power structures, and that’s always ok.
But beyond that, you don’t have to feel guilty about unfulfilled summer plans. Sure, a trip to Europe and all its trappings needs planning. And those are great. But if you find yourself coming home and falling on the couch, let yourself. Because that’s still summer. And in many ways, that’s the summer you can count on to be there. So go ahead and plan. But if it doesn’t work out, you’re still going to have a great summer.
Zak Khan doesn’t even go here anymore, but they have a lot of feelings and angry barking.